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Don’t we all love urban communication and aesthetic and if there’s a city that loves walls and hates walls, then it is Berlin. A fierce battleground for writers, sprayers, stickers, slogans. Backjumps magazine was found 1994 by Adrian Nabi and is serves as a international network for artists and actionists. The exhibition BackJumps – The Live Issue is literally taking the street and putting it not in the gallery, but in a context where is to be taken seriously and street art should be taken seriously.

40 artists and participants contributed to one of the most coolest things to be seen here for a long time, a true celebration of street culture and attitude. What is so exciting about the exhibition and opening was the fact it was real, artworks created for the space and artists were there to talk too. A very unreal situation – anonymous artists being put in a public space and having names been put to it, a exhibition for insiders, open for the public, something illegal made legal, a secret exposed, Backjumps – The Live Issue – is very special.

In the next 6 weeks panels, events, performances, concerts and workshops will take place in the artspace Kreuzberg/Bethanien, but also in the city, and on the streets. Exciting about BackJumps – The Live Issue – is the formats in which the message is delivered – video, flash films, postage art, installations, video games, truely pleasing to see that urban art has developed from a simple tag or a poster. To top everything off the opening was a bit of a happening too, as things got late, things got wild, in the halls of the artspace, amongst a very international atmosphere – stars and starters alike grabbed there markers and spray cans
and made their mark and left it – very very amusing.

But what really excited me about backjumps was meeting my favourite artist Wkinteract, he was in berlin for his second time and i had the chance to talk to him about his work, the exhibition and berlin. An artist that has worked for some very big companys and almost every japanese design magazine, been very cool about it and seems to know what he’s doing. Having a background as illustrator and in film, being fascinated by motion, his works are about capturing a moment, inner city stress tension and dynamic, frozen, graphic design for the streets, about blending in and always standing out.

He appears to be very aware of his role as a foriegner in new york, leaving France 16 years ago, being in New York and being accepted, but also understanding the paralells of being a imigrant and grafitti artist, the works being there and being accepted “you get inspiration from the streets” therefore you have to give something back to the streets. Furthermore his work and methods are all on a very spiritual level. A very fascinating and inspiring person indeed.

Unfortuantely – BackJumps – The Live Issue – has no website up but a very very cool b/w fanzine style catalouge with alot of infos and stickers. My buddy Eike Menijn put up a subsite with a good overview of whats been going on streetwise in Berlin lately.

Its a real cool exhibition, the idea of the live issue, its great to see it all concentrated on one area, but nevertheless, grafitti looks best at home on the streets.

Particpants : 77/ Berlin – Akay & Adams/ Stockholm – Akim & ZAST ONE/ Berlin – Ash/ BBC // Kopenhagen – Banksy/ London – Bob’s your uncle/ Kopenhagen – Cakes/ Prag – Delta INC/ Amsterdam – Brad Downey & Darius Jones/ New York – Erosie/ Eindhoven – freaks gallery/ Kopenhagen – HuskMitNavn/ Kopenhagen – Jay1/ BBC // Paris – Jeroen Jongeleen – Infuenza/ Rotterdam – Lokiss/ Paris – LOST ART/ Sao Paulo – Machine/ Amsterdam – MaisonAnti/ Berlin – Maurer United Architects/ Eindhoven, Maastricht – Nomad & Miss Riel/ Berlin – Nug & Pike/ Stockholm – OBEY/ Los Angeles – O’Clock/ Paris – PHOS4/ Berlin – PIPS:lab/ Amsterdam – Skki/BBC // New York, Paris – Straight up/ Kopenhagen – swoon:toyshop/ New York- Berlin – WK Interact/ New York – Zedz INC/ Leiden and much more.

BackJumps – The Live Issue
Date: 23th August -5th October 2003
Place: Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien
Address: Mariannenplatz 2, 10997 Berlin, Germany
Tel: +49 (0) 30 25 88 41 55

Text and Photos: Paul Snowden from Redesigndeutschland

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